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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Sandra Keller

Glassboro Woods WMA
April 29, 2007

This field trip was my first at leading a group walking through the place. Glassboro Woods is now closed to vehicles every spring. Passerine birding is a lot of walking anyway, but the distances to certain areas proved great and the fact that we wouldn’t be near our cars for extended periods did make some people contact me with reservations. This year’s trip was a lot of walking. I hope to cut that in half with a new plan for next year. On to the details: The weather was mostly sunny, 60 degrees, and light NW winds - perfect for migrants in south Jersey. Six of us birded for 5 ½ hours from 6:30AM until 12:00PM. Here are some highlights of the 65 species we enjoyed from three different areas we walked.

Lincoln Ave. – Our first migrants with 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, WARBLING VIREO, YELLOW-RUMPED and PALM WARBLERS. These were all in a feeding flock on the west edge of a field we walked. 3 BLUE-HEADED VIREOS were stretched out along Lincoln Ave. itself. We didn’t pick up many of the breeders along here as they were strangely silent. We did have WORM-EATING, OVENBIRD, and RED-EYED VIREOS though. Super looks at the last two. Both of these species can be difficult to locate, but with the sparse leafcover – leafout is a good week late – and all our eyes looking we did locate. We had many other birds in this area, but nothing out of the ordinary and they were all to be expected - species like BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, DOWNY and RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS.

Nowhere Rd. – this is the name I have given the dirt road heading south from the west end of Carpenter. It goes nowhere hitting a dead end after 1 ¼ miles. We walked this road from 8:45 to 10:00AM getting maybe 1/3 of the way along. Again, most of the target breeders were quiet for some reason. We did have 5 BLUE-WINGED WARBLERS along here, nice looks at a WORM-EATING WARBLER, more YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, PARULA, and BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS. A lone NASHVILLE WARBLER was nice. We couldn’t do anything with the 1 YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER and SUMMER TANAGER we had. I am keeping tabs on these species among others for by surveys here. One KENTUCKY WARBLER started singing about 10 ft. from us. Did we see it? Of course not! We gave this skulker 20 minutes without success in viewing. This bird was probably my favorite bird of the trip as I wasn’t expecting them back this early. YELLOW, PRAIRIE, PINE, and COMMON YELLOWTHROATS round out the warblers here. We also had GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHERS along here. By this time of the day, the butterflies were starting to fly with Spring Azure and Henry’s Elfin being the predominant.

Carpenter Rd. – the remaining participants for this very long walk enjoyed a PROTHONOTARY perched up and singing and checking out nest cavities. This bird was the “hands-down” trip favorite from the participants left that I could query. Three HOODED WARBLERS finally sounded off! And one lone LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH that was so close to us but kept moving back into the swamp making a sighting all but impossible. Our trek ended at the burned area where we enjoyed a flock of singing PALM WARBLERS, CHIPPING SPARROWS, and BLUEBIRDS - these all more or less open habitat species. We picked up the pace for the walk back and got back to our cars around noon.

We all had a good lesson in chip notes, songs, and id today. I am always happy to answer questions. Please email me.